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Wood takes permanent Gibraltar role

Jeff Wood said "there is a lot of talent and especially hungry talent" in Gibraltar after the Englishman was appointed as permanent national team coach.

Jeff Wood signs a contract to become Gibraltar coach
Jeff Wood signs a contract to become Gibraltar coach ©GFA

Gibraltar have appointed Englishman Jeff Wood as their new permanent coach. Interim boss Dave Wilson will revert to his previous role as assistant.

Wilson stepped up in March following the departure of Allen Bula and will continue to work under Wood, who also becomes Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) coach educator. The 61-year-old Wood was previously in charge of Lions Gibraltar FC.

"This is a fantastic opportunity given that I have been involved with Gibraltarian football in the past," Wood said. "I know there is a lot of talent and especially hungry talent in Gibraltarian football. I hope to be able to oversee the development and nurturing of that talent into the national team and make the whole of Europe and the world take Gibraltar seriously given the calibre of player that we constantly produce."

A former goalkeeper for, among others, Charlton Athletic FC and HJK Helsinki, Wood began his coaching career at Brighton & Hove Albion FC and has also worked at Leeds United AFC, Norwich City FC and Sliema Wanderers FC as well as in the Wales set-up.

Wood takes over a team yet to register a point in their first senior campaign, with Gibraltar, who host the Republic of Ireland in their next UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier, lying bottom of Group D after six matches. Wilson led Gibraltar for three games, overseeing their first competitive goal in a 6-1 defeat by his native Scotland in March and then last month losing a friendly in Croatia and a group match at home to Germany.

"Today's appointment is a massive step forward for us as an association," Wilson said. "Jeff's professionalism and unquestionable knowledge coming from a long and varied professional footballing career is a fantastic positive for me and the players."